Stepping Away

The work is piled high, deadlines are hanging over our heads, we’re begging for more hours in the day to attend to our priorities, we’re not sleeping enough, we don’t have time for play or nurturing ourselves… does this sound like you? Take a deep breath in and let all the air out please. Feel better?

I love when someone in my tribe says to me, “take some time for yourself Andrea.” So here I am on our Soulful Sunday to pay that forward and remind YOU to celebrate YOURSELF as much as you do your work and daily demands. In fact when relaxing and nurturing yourself becomes part of your daily demands you should feel really darn proud, even if it’s just stepping away from all of your responsibilities for 15 minutes. It’s so important. Pay attention to who your tribe is too, as we are all transmitters and receivers. An environment filled with love, compassion, support and encouragement will serve everyone best when it’s happening in both directions.  

I’m traveling again right now accompanying my man, Erik Almas, at the Xposure International Photo Festival in the UAE and it’s incredible. I’m getting more free time than usual but Erik has had a taxing schedule and work is pouring in more than ever. He is so good to me when I’m slammed and feeling overwhelmed and always reminds me to take time to listen to what I need and honor it. It’s my turn to see if I can inspire him to stick to his mindful rituals and encourage some fun in the mix of the busied days.

Today Erik and I woke up to catch a sunrise and shoot a little together. We cherish the early hours that often are filled with magic and when the alarm goes off 30 min prior to sunrise it's a good time for us to visualize that magic. He has a ton on his plate so I know sleeping in would have been more appealing and yet we made the choice to get up and go. The sunrise was stunning. We laughed as we heard a boat of partiers still going strong and I dropped into my few little stretches so we could start snapping some yoga shots. The morning came with gorgeous colors illuminating the water which carried us blissfully into breakfast. The ocean was so enticing we then had to get paddle boards and take a cruise. All of this by 10AM and man did it feel great. We both could have spent the entire morning working away but we know how important it is to make time for some fun, creativity and quality time together too.

iphone snap by Erik Almas

iphone snap by Erik Almas

Whether you’re married, in a relationship or single, having a give and take with support will only make all your relationships stronger. As you encourage and inspire others, allow others to encourage and inspire you. Get in touch with being receptive and motivating, be open and giving with it all. 

So next time you sense a friend or loved one getting a bit bogged down, can you be the motivator and offer a change up in action for a bit? Suggestions don’t have to be big and elaborate, think small and simple. My goals partner I check-in with for our weekly focus always includes something like; take a walk with hubby and the kids. It can be as easy as that. 

Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud
— Maya Angelou

Thanks for popping by you amazing souls. 

 

 

SETTING AN INTENTION

How do you set an intention for yourself?

Photo by  Erik Almas  on the Ganges River in Varanasi, India with a  Sadhu  (Baba)

Photo by Erik Almas on the Ganges River in Varanasi, India with a Sadhu (Baba)

I am reminded through Oprah and Deepak meditations, how the power of setting intentions drives our personal reality. Aligned with your beliefs and values, intentions create wander and put positive energy into your mind and out into the world. Why not give yourself such freedom to be creative and enjoy how it can uplift you as you believe what you see?

Before I started practicing yoga and meditating, I believe the only intentions I set were through prayer as I grew up going to church with my family, which to this day, I have such appreciation for. I didn’t have awareness around consciously setting intentions until I started hearing it in the yoga classes I would take and responding happily to it. As a competitive dancer and tumbler in my youth I definitely remember those crucial moments right before performances or competitions as I hit my mark, found my beginning post and suddenly a rant of thoughts went through my head; I'm scaredjust breathe, don't mess up, do your best, don't forget to smile, just have fun Andrea, stick your landing, use facial expressions, don't bite your lip, I hope I don't fall... you get the idea. I had no idea how to control this mindless chatter with fear often highjacking the positive.  

When I shifted into being an actress in my twenties, audition filled days caused a free-flowing stream of these types of rants in my head all over again. Thoughts would hang on me as I entered rooms causing me to feel in limbo between having fun and doing my best or flopping and leaving frustrated. I've always had my things I do to prepare but as I grow, I dig bringing awareness into simplifying thoughts which leads to more clarity when I need it. 

As "intention" setting in yoga class migrated its way into audition rooms, my morning rituals and meditations, I knew it would be an important thing to share in the yoga classes I instruct.  Encouraging others to take the moment to get still, feel right where you are, take a deep breath in and out and let an intention come to mind is a moment worthy of exploring. 

After recently spending time with my nieces I realized sharing the importance of how to set an intention could inspire them as they prepared for their dance recital. When I asked them if they were excited about their show, they reminded me of myself when I was young.  All the same fears and worries overpowered them being able to relax and say positive things to themselves. What a perfect time to share with them my past similarities and what I've learned that can be calming in these nerve racking situations.  I reminded them that it's ok to feel nervous and that sometimes it's just excitement brewing too, which can be the little adrenaline rush you use to give it your all! 

There are several ways to get to intention setting, here are a few tips to the process I often use:

  • Close your eyes, get still and connect with your inhale and exhale.
  • Ask yourself where you would like support?
  • Think short term and in the moment.
  • Invite in clarity with-in your thoughts.
  • From that thought grab a positive word or phrase that inspires where you want that support.
  • Your intention is set, say it to yourself as you breathe in and out a few times and let it uplift you!

Example of mine today: I will nurture myself with compassion and be proud of my accomplishments today. 

I decided to have some more fun with my nieces in sharing this "intention" setting process through a company I love, called MyIntent. I met founder, Chris Pan about 2 years ago at a sunset rooftop yoga I was leading and immediately connected with him. As Chris has grown MyIntent into something authentic with purpose behind it, I get excited to share the goodness that he’s paying forward, spreading light into the world. 

The girls and I sat together at the kitchen table. They all wrote on their cards what their word was and why they chose it and I took to my craftsmanship to make them their bracelets with the MyIntent maker kit. To sit and have these moments with them is priceless and better than any post I could share. I'm a fan of creating an open dialogue with our youth which gives us all permission to share what we are feeling and bring light to what we'd like our intentions to be. I'm proud of my nieces for the inspiration they give me and are putting out there for themselves. 

I'm on my third word and bracelet since meeting Chris.  As we shift and grow our intentions can change. I'd love to share mine because they've greatly reflected what I've brought into my life. My why included was written during the time of choosing that word. 

  1.  2014 was Let it Happen: I often worry about the future in many aspects and even as I feel like a motivated, genuinely happy person, I create unnecessary stress by seeking results or needing to "know" how things will turn out too often. I aspire to be more present and let things organically happen. Embrace what IS here and now. Let It Happen.
  2. 2015 was Perspective: I catch myself easily slipping into thoughts of self doubt, frustration, and having my opinions about the way I feel about things that can be judgmental. I will challenge myself in these moments to be open and shift my perspective in a positive way, respecting all beings and inspiring a stronger sense of self acceptance. Perspective.
  3. 2016 is Compassion: This one was chosen for me by my guy, Erik Almas, whom also made it for me. Erik encouraged me to have better "self talk". I will be aware of the things say aloud in front of others and in my own inner dialogue. I will acknowledge the way I look at myself and see things with tenderness and compassion rather than be so critical. Compassion. 
Photo by Chris Pan at roof top yoga

Photo by Chris Pan at roof top yoga

Photo by Erik Almas at  Rise Nation  

Photo by Erik Almas at Rise Nation 

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If you've done some intention setting for yourself, let me hear about it?  Or perhaps you're sporting a MyIntent bracelet... what's your word? I'd love to hear from you. Have your intentions helped? Keep this circle of light swirling! Thank you guys. 

Namastamy featured in photos.